Is it possible that cats receive better health care than our children?

I took my cat to the veterinary today to have his teeth cleaned (yeah what of it) and an amazing thing happened while reading the informative pamphlet regarding the dental package.  At the Ardmore Animal Hospital, they complete a physical examination on the morning of the scheduled procedure.  From the pamphlet, “The physical examination is a comprehensive check of all major body systems.  An electrocardiogram (EKG) will be performed to check for any abnormal heart rhythms.”

My cat, which was rescued from a shelter three years ago, just had an EKG exam to check for any heart abnormalities.  The American Animal Hospital Association has not complained about false positives, nor about the cost.  Speaking of which, upon receiving my bill I asked the receptionist if she had the ability to break down the charges in greater detail – specifically could she tell me how much the EKG cost.

$23.00.  I’ll let that sink in….

Unfortunately, our children are still dying from detectable conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest.  The media will tragically miss the vast majority of these stories, and will only highlight a select few.  Of those they cover, inevitably they will solicit the input of a physician who will lazily site cost or false positives as reasons against large scale EKG testing.  They will offer these reasons and mention “lack of data” as validation.  If you don’t have data, I’m not sure how you can discuss “false positives” but that’s a topic for a different rant.

At Simon’s Fund, we will continue to screen children and collect irrefutable data.  We will continue to develop screening models that are cost effective.  We will continue to provide awareness about sudden cardiac arrest.

In the meantime, if you need an EKG I guess you should take your children to the vet.